Sorority For Plus-Sized Women: But WHY?

At first, I thought it a joke. Considering the plethora of organizations already in existence that support people struggling with weight issues and several nationally recognized sororities that foster sisterhood and welcome members regardless of body type, skin tone, or size, the concept initially seemed like a redundant effort. Chi Zeta Theta Sorority, however, is in fact an established, non-collegiate sorority that (according to the website) encourages, empowers and uplifts the plus-sized woman. Their vision:

As a sisterhood, we strive to strengthen grace and beauty within plus size women and promoting excellence within one another as well the plus size adolescents.”

No one can argue that all women are worthy of support, inclusion, and uplift, but why does the CZT bond center around maintaining a plus-size and a Greek organization?

*Side Eye*

Their community service aspect deserves a stadium of applause, but Greek affiliation is not a mandate to create social change/ a difference. The CZT website didn’t list a weight requirement, but indicated (photos) obesity is a considered factor for membership. Why focus on weight at all?! Weight is a very sensitive issue in America, a first-world country that provides endless options for food consumption without regulation or censorship while media advertisers prey on insecurities. Promotion of healthy eating habits, physical activities and lifestyles often take the last seat on the bus in favor of fast food, extra-large portions, and fad/quick diets which the general public thirsts for. A quick fix.

As millions struggle to manage their weight, obesity steadily climbs to epidemic numbers and First Lady Michelle Obama has made childhood obesity her campaign legacy, why is a “plus-sized” sorority to be celebrated? Empowering “plus-sized” living gives shallow validation to a life of obesity, but heart disease, hypertension, cardiac arrest and diabetes prove otherwise. Why not celebrate the millions that work hard to alter their lifestyle (sans surgery) to lose weight? Why not found more organizations that promote physical activity and healthy living like Black Girls Run? Why not make good health a priority/focus?

Just as women of CZT were (unfortunately) made punch lines by many on social media when their intake footage leaked, obese adolescents across the nation are faced with similar ridicule. The Georgia Anti-Childhood Obesity campaign uses dramatic (controversial) PSA’s shaming the inner-personal struggles of youth. An example:

Admittedly harsh, stereotypical, and difficult to watch, the message is clear. Obesity isn’t celebratory, but making a lifestyle change is. Encourage healthy living as opposed to a deleterious social pass to remain obese.




About Dawnavette

A Modern Renaissance Woman passionate about writing, women's issues, race relations, pop culture and music.

Posted on November 6, 2011, in Commentary, WhatTheJoeJacksonHell?! and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. right along with the BOSS network “sorority” and the natural hair sorority. These people need to quite calling their organizations “sororities” because they are NOT.

  2. So what happens if you lose weight and are no longer considered plus size? Do you get put out? Seriously though. As a society we need to focus on being healthy. To start a sorority on the basis that you are plus-size just seems silly. To each her own though *shrugs*

  3. It is ridiculous. Not to knock anyone who is “plus-sized” (myself included), this is definitely not something to celebrated…at all, really. To know your lifestyle and eating habit will more than likely shorten your days is not something to celebrate and connect a bond over. I want to live and would rather connect with individuals who want to change their lifestyles to keep us “amongst the land of the living” as my pops would say, and not congregate with individuals with content to not bettering themselves as far as their health. Alas, that’s just my opinion.

  4. I totally think everyone here is over analyzing this. I don’t understand why starting your own sorority that supports a platform and a bond among multiple women can identify as a “negative” thing. It seems like everyone issue is the fact that the bond is associated with weight. I am a member of a sorority that was “traditionally” founded for black women. Membership in a black sorority does not imply an evil racist and segregated agenda. So I think its kind of silly and unfair to link their agenda with being “unhealthy” and a plot to make america obese.

    If you read their website you will see that the sorority works with many charities including diabetes (i.e. they UNDERSTAND the health issues associated with obesity). Furthermore, just because your over weight doesn’t mean your not healthy and your promoting unhealthy behavior. Its like saying if someone is thin they obviously support anorexia and bulimia.

    When I read the website it seems that they have formed this sorority to help support each others self esteem and bond with friends. When you struggle with weight issues the whole world is constantly reminding you of it. Similar to being in a majority white society that constantly reminds you that your skin color is different. As we get older unless you have a natural disposition for having a high metabolism, most of america struggles with weight issues. I know plenty of overweight vegetarians and the gym is full of overweight people. Its not that EASY for everyone.

    I personally think any organization that stands for promoting a positive self esteem and serving their community is a wonderful thing. I admire these ladies for organizing and supporting each other regardless of their dress size. In my opinion, I think its cruel to mock these ladies and their organization.

  5. This is really fascinating, You are a very professional blogger. I’ve joined your feed and sit up for in search of extra of your wonderful post. Additionally, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  6. I like the efforts you have put in this, thanks for all the great articles.

  7. I think its a good idea and yall are dumb for yall opinions….yelp i said it. i mean because common sense is that they didnot make this to celebrate fatness and stay fat…they made it because people like you down them…some people cant help they weight…i know this because of friends and family members. and just because you are plus size doesnt mean you are not healthy smh…the world we live in….

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